CONTACT:  Sarah Wahrenbrock                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 70229                                   21 JUNE 2011



SMMUSD Adopts new strategic plan framework


After nearly eighteen months of community input, research, development, and refinement, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has adopted a new Strategic Plan Framework for 2011 through 2016. 


More information regarding the Strategic Plan and the planning process can be found at 


The purpose of a Strategic Plan is to provide the district with a living document that is the result of a data-driven planning process that engages all stakeholder groups, identifies immediate/long range goals and areas of focus, and provides the district and Board of Education with a tool to guide decision-making and alignment of priorities.  The previous Strategic Plan was adopted in 2002.  While developing the updated Strategic Plan, the district took care to honor the plan from 2002, engage all stakeholders and the broader community, benefit from current research and thinking, and limit the number of goals and initiatives. 


This new plan – which is in the shape of pyramid, with the SMMUSD mission statement serving as a foundation and each layer supporting the goal of the one above it – states what an SMMUSD graduate should know and be able to do upon graduating from the district.  It lays out the core goal and supporting goals that will guide the district to prepare its students for life and work after school.  Additionally, it outlines the strategies and initiatives to meet those goals.


Included in the list of things expected of an SMMUSD graduate are demonstrating functional and critical thinking skills, including those related to media and technological information; having a deep understanding of and respect for diversity that enables them to live and lead in a multicultural and multi-abled world; and being flexible, adaptive, and having a passion for life-long learning. 


The core goal of the plan is to promote excellence and equity by preparing all students to have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to excel in postsecondary education and the workplace as productive participatory global citizens, as well as developing in all students the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that contribute to living a healthy, balanced life. 


Reinforcing this core goal are three supporting goals: ensuring district resources, strengthening talent at every level, and nurturing collaborative partnerships.  To ensure district resources, the district must exercise effective oversight of its resources and assets to support fiscal stability as well as ensure the allocation of resources is equitable.  To strengthen talent at every level, the district must recruit, develop, and retain outstanding and motivated staff who share the values of SMMUSD and meet the needs of the diverse students it serves.  Finally, to nurture collaborative partnerships, the district must build new and enhance existing connections among students, families, and schools and expand partnerships with businesses and the cities of Santa Monica & Malibu. 


In January 2010, the district began a four-stage process to create an updated plan that would guide SMMUSD through the next five years.  A Strategic Planning Team was established by Superintendent Tim Cuneo and consisted of representatives from district certificated and classified staff, PTA, district advisory committees, the Board of Education, and administrators.  Community input regarding the district’s strengths, areas for improvement, and future direction was then elicited through interviews and at a series of district wide open house events.  A day-long mini-conference brought together local Santa Monica and Malibu community, education, graduates, and business representatives to identify the best ways to accomplish the district’s vision and goals.  All of this input and data was coalesced into a draft Strategic Plan Framework, which was presented for another round of community input.  The Board of Education adopted the framework on June 16, 2011. 


Now that the framework has been approved by the board, staff will develop action plans to accomplish each initiative, schedules for implementing the activities, and methods of accountability to ensure the actions are being implemented and the goals met.  The combination of the framework and its action steps will form the completed Strategic Plan.  Developing these action steps will begin this summer. 






1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138